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arthur mitsias

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Has technology accelerated human evolution?

my question is based on my observations of events that have happened in my own lifetime,we went from conventional warfare to atomic bombs ,we went from party line telephones to blue tooth, we went from the encyclopedia to ipads,we went from maps to gps,we went from libraries to kindle,we went from Sunday dinner to Mc Donalds,we went from radio to 50"flat screen 3d television,skype,electric cars,and we put a man on the moon.All of this in one life time.what use to take millions of years to happen,. is now happening in generations.I watch little kids walking towards doors they dont stop because they know its going to open,young children using computers to write and draw.I guess my question is,am I right in thinking that human evolution is accelerating.

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  • Jul 18 2012: It's actually true! The average humans of today are much smarter than the average humans of yesteryear. In rural communities in the earlier parts of the 1900's (when the IQ test was first invented) the average person scored so low, that today's terms, we would have considered them as borderline mentally retarded. Today, we see the same gains in developing countries which are starting to get access to modern education and technology. Here's an article explaining it if you want to take a reading break:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1200/is_19_163/ai_102275178/

    In addition, at the beginning of his book, "The Shallows", Nicholas Carr provides a great narrative of scientific discoveries regarding the way our minds work with new objects. Basically, our brains treat new tools just as if they were functioning limbs. This means that a keyboard, a pencil, a hammer, etc., are all parts of our mind. Extending this argument you could say that as we get more technology and get access to new tools, our brains evolve.
    • Jul 19 2012: first i have to say that we already knew all of these tools that you used to demonstrate the theory of how our brains are able to grasp there use ,the newest of which was the keyboard,which in one form or another, has been around for over a hundred years the thing about our brain is that it does not take to change easily, when innovations come along they are just that innovations,something that improves something that already exists,something that sits in our comfort zone,i am sure that through history right up to the present there are tools,concepts,inventions,that could maybe make our lives better,physically and spiritually,but our brains work like a large ship at sea it takes a lot of steps to get it to change course,its not that we don't have the intelligence to grasp these things,it was one of us that figured it out after all, but in us we still carry"the fear factor" that thing that makes us fear the dark,and even though over time we have pushed it further to the back of our brain it still exist,think about name brands,yes we have come all long way,but some things still linger from our past that still give us comfort,i guess that's why some people call their home a cave
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      Jul 19 2012: Do you think maybe the IQ thing is actually because IQ tests tend toward types of thinking that were of limited use in that setting. Maybe if the IQ test of the time included how quickly you can stack a cord of wood the results would have been higher.
      • Jul 20 2012: In a way, that's true. You didn't need to be smart back then. But how much of your brain is actually used when doing menial labor? At first glance, who would you guess was smarter? The farmer who didn't finish school, or a cosmopolitan writer?

        Even with comparing society in the 50's with today, you need to take on a lot more education even to be able to be successful in most cases.

        Today's technology allows us to articulate more of our thoughts and develop our brains, as well as expand our capabilities as humans.
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          Jul 22 2012: You're born with a brain with a certain amount of potential. Today we develop that potential in ways that are tested in IQ tests. If you seperate twins at birth, one works as a farm hand and the other lives with an academic family, the farm hand twin will have a lower IQ but the other twin won't be able to ride a horse like a pro. Your brain adapts to be good at what ever you use it for.
      • Jul 24 2012: Peter,you used the example of twins being separated at birth ,one to rural life the other to a life of access to limitless knowledge,but the fact is if they are identical in every way and nurtured in the same way as to their physical and spiritual needs,why would their intelligence be different? And if one was handed everything on a silver platter, and the other had to work for everything he had,and they both found success in their choices, which is the better?
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          Jul 24 2012: Their overall intelligence would be the same but IQ tests only test specific parts of your intellect. Have you ever done an IQ test with a section for kinesthetic intelligence?

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